The Sagamore Athletic Conference is one of Indiana’s oldest and proudest conferences. OK, maybe it hasn’t been around as long as the venerable North Central Conference, which used to be as powerful as the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference is today. But it has a proud past.
The original members – Carmel, Noblesville, Brownsburg, Crawfordsville, Frankfort and Lebanon – formed the SAC in December of 1966. (By the way, the name, for those curious, came from the Abnaki Indian name for the chief or ruler who exemplified leadership and dignity.)
OK, back to our regularly scheduled content.
The Sagamore crowned its first champions in the spring of 1967, and that began a run that has lasted more than half a century . . . with a few comings and goings. Those goings started with Carmel in 1974. CHS outgrew the SAC and headed off for a bigger playground. Noblesville did the same in ’79 and Brownsburg in ’85. We all know that Western Boone, North Montgomery and Southmont replaced those three. Eventually Tri-West and Danville were added when the SAC expanded and that’s where we are today.
Enough history. Let’s talk about going forward.
For some of us who never finished growing up (or as our wives might suggest, never really started), we miss those days when we were on the fields and courts, competing for All-Conference honors and having a great time doing it. Ask a lot of guys and they’ll tell you that sure, they miss the competition. But what they miss the most is the locker room – the camaraderie, the practical jokes, the togetherness.
So here’s an idea.
What if we created a Sagamore Adult Conference? Crazy? Maybe. But here are a few thoughts to chew on.
Let’s see if we can create six teams – the same cities as the original SAC members – and form a baseball league. The age limit would be that you had to be in high school in 1974, the last year Carmel was in the SAC. You could have been a freshman, but the important point is that you had to be a member of the original Sagamore Conference. That way everyone on the field would be on a fairly equal footing, at least age wise.
Each team secures its own home field. For example, right here in Crawfordsville we could talk to the city about playing at the park – the very site where those teams use to play back in the ‘70s. In Noblesville, I believe Forest Park might be a good spot.
The regular season would be 10 weeks. Every team plays each other, one game a week for five weeks. Then we have a one week break for an All-Star game. After that we play the last five weeks. Maybe there’s a tournament at the end, seeded with the standings from the regular season? The top two teams get byes, with the team finishing third playing the sixth-place team and the fourth and fifth place teams playing.
All in all, the details aren’t that hard to work out – except we might need a top-notch lawyer to work on a waiver that covers heart attacks and broken hips. The league fee for each team has to be enough to pay for the expenses – costs of the fields, umpires, etc. Uniforms could be as simple or as fancy as each team wanted . . . and I’m guessing Carmel would come up with the most expensive duds. Hey, some things never change.
If this worked, then perhaps we could expand to other sports, men and women? Don’t know. At this point it’s just an idea and I’d love to find out if anyone else out there in the 60-ish crowd and older is as crazy as I am. If you are, shoot me an e-mail at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com and let’s talk.
Focus on Sports was the name of the sports column Timmons wrote in Indiana and Texas a few decades ago. He was pretty excited to get it out and dust it off for today. Timmons can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.